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How is tendinitis diagnosed?


Updated June 18, 2014

Tendinitis is almost always diagnosed on physical examination. Findings consistent with tendinitis include:
  • Tenderness directly over the tendon
  • Pain with movement of muscles and tendons
  • Swelling of the tendon

Are X-rays or MRIs needed to diagnose tendinitis?
Studies such as x-rays and MRIs are not usually needed to make the diagnosis of tendinitis. While they are not needed for diagnosis of tendinitis, x-rays may be performed to ensure there is no other problem, such as a fracture, that could be causing the symptoms of pain and swelling. X-rays may show evidence of swelling around the tendon.

MRIs are also good tests identify swelling, and will show evidence of tendinitis. However, these tests are not usually needed to confirm the diagnosis; MRIs are usually only performed if there is a suspicion of another problem.

What is the treatment for a particular type of tendinitis?
For more information about a specific type of tendinitis, look through the following related articles. On the following page of this article, find general tendinitis treatment guidelines for patients who have a tendinitis diagnosis.

Related Tendinitis Information:

  • Wrist Tendinitis
    Wrist tendinitis is a common problem that can cause pain and swelling around the wrist. Wrist tendinitis is due to inflammation of the tendon sheath. Treatment of wrist tendinitis usually does not require surgery.

  • Achilles Tendinitis
    Achilles tendinitis causes pain and swelling in the back of the heel. Understanding this common problem can help with treatment and help to avoid serious complications such as Achilles tendon rupture.

  • Patellar (Kneecap) Tendinitis
    Patellar tendinitis, or inflammation of the patellar tendon, is a condition often called Jumper's Knee. Treatment of patellar tendinitis usually consists of rest and anti-inflammatory medication.

  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
    Many patients who have pain are told by their doctor they have shoulder bursitis or rotator cuff tendinitis; learn more about rotator cuff tendinitis and available treatments.

Read on for more information about the treatment of tendinitis...

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